OS OpenSpace


OS OpenSpace – ending one API era as we start a new one

When we launched OS OpenSpace back in 2008, it was our first venture into mapping APIs. 12 years on, there has been a lot of progression in this market. As a result, we plan to withdraw the OS OpenSpace API in August 2021 as we can now offer users a similar but more proficient product.

We want to thank everyone who has used this service. Without your support, we wouldn’t be where we are today with our new and exciting suite of APIs.

With a year until the withdrawal, we’ve outlined some of the options for users to migrate across to.

Why is OS OpenSpace being withdrawn?

Read More


Putting Doctor Who on the map

Peter Capaldi will be back for his final series as the twelfth Doctor this Easter and media speculation (and betting) on the new Doctor Who reminded us of our OS OpenSpace Tardis map*. We decided to add a new dimension for 2017, marking the location of the birthplaces** of the 12 actors to play the Doctor so far, as well as the 73 Tardis dotted around Britain. Would it reveal a Doctor hotspot and help identify the thirteenth Doctor?


We found that 25% of Doctors hail from Scotland with the remaining 75% being born in England – so is it time for a Welsh Doctor to hit our screens? Or will Scotland continue to attract Doctors due to the huge number of Tardis in the country? Read More


Putting Doctor Who’s Tardis on the map

Tomorrow night will see the much-anticipated return of Doctor Who on our TV screens, with the new Doctor played by Peter Capaldi. We’ll be pleased to see the Tardis back on our screens because of its connection to our maps. As you may know know, the real-life function of those boxes that the Tardis has adopted, was as a telephone call box connecting you to your local police station.

Doctor Who Tardis map


In the early 20th century, hundreds of police call boxes (PCBs) sat on street corners waiting to be used. As phone boxes became more common place (first the famous red design and now the more modern glass version) and then home phones and mobiles phones took over, the PCBs fell out of use.

However, many of them still exist around the country – and for those in their original locations, they are still on our mapping data. Some 203 PCBs are still marked on our maps, although only a fraction of those are recognisable as the Tardis that we still know and love today.  Read More


Web mapping improvements

Our Web Services offer alternative ways to access, and use, Ordnance Survey’s high-quality mapping. The services stream the latest version of data through a robust and resilient system ensuring you have the maps where you want them, when you want them; OS OpenSpace allows users to embed OS OpenData maps, plus our 1:50 000 OS Landranger Maps, into your website or mobile device for free. You can upgrade to OS OpenSpace Pro which provides access to our premium datasets as well.  OS OnDemand streams the latest most detailed maps into your GIS software, browsers or mobile devices enabling your business to make the most out of our data wherever you are located.

As well as the traditional raster products, we also provide consistently-styled mapping for use in OS OpenSpace Pro and OS OnDemand. This map stack provides a smooth zoom experience and greater consistency throughout the zoom levels, and is ideal for backdrop mapping in a digital environment. The subtle colour palette means that the data you overlay will stand out and become the main focus of your map.

ZoomMap1 Read More


Using OS OpenData to map #OpFortress tweets

Today’s guest post is by Robert Murray, one of our developer team at Ordnance Survey. Last year he used OS OpenData to map some of the tweets Hampshire Constabulary sent during Operation Fortress.

Hampshire Constabulary has been running an operation to combat drug-related crime in Southampton called Operation Fortress and posted tweets relating to this operation with the hashtag #OpFortress. It was an effective method of showing progress and engaging with the public, the tweets sometimes gave advice, asked for help or reported operation updates such as arrests, raids or crimes – often with the location at which the event took place.


Read More


New OS OpenSpace SDK for iOS set to transform your apps with our maps

We’re excited to be helping developers of mobile applications with our latest launch of our mapping software development kit (SDK), OS OpenSpace SDK for iOS devices.

It’s free and allows developers to quickly and easily add detailed Ordnance Survey maps to their apps on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It gives them access to the range of high quality datasets available within both the OS OpenSpace and OS OpenSpace Pro API.

Developers access OS Openspace through the new SDK and can easily select which products are displayed within their applications. These products include overview mapping for Great Britain, street level mapping featuring detailed building property boundaries and accurate road networks, vector based mid-scale mapping and the popular, and trusted, outdoor mapping product, OS Landranger Maps (1: 50 000), featuring national parks, tracks, paths and fields.

Read More


Innovation to solve business problems with environmental data

Our recent GeoVation challenge resulted in four successful finalists being awarded a share of innovation funding to develop their ideas that addressed: ‘How can we help British business improve environmental performance?’

Whilst our challenge has now drawn to a close, you may be interested to learn that other funding initiatives do exist – such as the forthcoming ‘Solving business problems with environmental data’ competition, which is being launched by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), in collaboration with the Environmental Sustainability KTN.

exhibition space at event

We understand that this competition, which officially opens on 30 September 2013, aims to address many of the problems, themes and insights identified during the Environment GeoVation Pow Wow, so there are many parallels and similarities between the two initiatives. The TSB/NERC competition has allocated up to £3 million to invest in a number of business-led, collaborative feasibility studies which will establish the proof of market for environmental data-led solutions and should address a specific business issue from one of the following areas:

  • Energy
  • Transport
  • Built Environment
  • Agriculture and Food
  • Financial Services

So, when recently asked to support the TSB/NERC competition we were delighted to accept. Our support started earlier this month, when we joined several other partners and data providers for the first in a series of road shows that have been designed to enable potential applicants to understand the nature and spirit of the competition, its intentions to make data accessible, and its timescales.

Read More


Ducklington Parish connects services to residents using OS OpenSpace maps

Ducklington Parish Council connects its residents to a wealth of local information using OS OpenSpace.

Ducklington Parish Council had always struggled to explain to its residents the facilities which were available to them around the local area. By using OS OpenSpace residents now have access to a wealth of local information which includes planning applications, points of interest and local footpaths.

Communicating important events and road closures is now familiar and easily accessible because Ordnance Survey maps can be integrated within the parish’s news posts throughout their website.

Using Web-Map Builder, a free and simple to use tool allowing anyone with little or no web development skills to create custom maps, Ducklington have been able to show conservation areas, local footpaths and parish boundaries.

 Everyone is familiar with the OS maps. The site looks really good as a result, live and interactive – not bad for a small Parish Council. – Peter Almgill

The council have also used OS OpenSpace to provide a detailed overview of local services and updates to buildings throughout the parish. The planning applications map, which showcases local applications across the parish, is keeping residents informed of changes to local homes and public buildings.

Read More


Digital Shoreditch festival 2013 – hear how we’re involved!

Digital Shoreditch Logo






This week from Monday through to Sunday you’ll find us at the Digital Shoreditch festival, an event that attracts hundreds of speakers from the most innovative and successful companies and organisations across creative, technical, start-up tech and digital spaces and beyond. During the week, we’ll be exhibiting, speaking and promoting our digital products and services amongst some of Tech City’s most talented digital and technical creative individuals.

The festival has a different theme each day, comprising of panel sessions, key note speeches and discussions – kicking off with today’s “What Tech City” theme. During the day, festival goers will collectively explore the many companies and organisations that make Tech City what it is, focusing on developing new ways to exploit the potential for growing global engagement and improving our digital economy and society.

Read More